The delegation led by the HP CM, which also comprised two ministers, demanded declaration of a railway line project to link Chandigarh with the state's prominent industrial hub Baddi.

The Chief Minister sought Rs 500 crore for strengthening infrastructural network in the state, an official statement said. He said that the Chandigarh-Baddi new railway line should be declared a project of national importance, keeping in view its geographical importance.

Virbhadra Singh said that the survey of this new line has been completed and it would facilitate the movement of goods and services from the industrial areas of the state. For laying this line, the Chief Minister said that the state is willing to provide all necessary support and infrastructure.

Revenue Minister Kaul Singh and Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri accompanied the Chief Minister at the meeting. The chief minister also requested Chidambaram to start construction work on Bhanupalli-Bilaspur railway line as per the decision taken by the Prime Minister's Office on Aug 8, 2007, in which, it was agreed to fund the project in the pattern of 75:25 between the Indian Railways and the state.

He said that so far, only 44 km of rail line has been constructed in the state since Independence and requested Chidambaram to provide adequate funds to the railway projects. Regarding the early release of calamity relief, the chief minister said that a central team has already toured the state to assess the flood losses and has submitted its report.

Virbhadra Singh and his entire cabinet met the prime minister on Monday and briefed him about the massive losses on account of heavy rains. At the meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured the Ministers that the Centre would release adequate funds to the state from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for relief and restoration in flood-affected areas.

The Prime Minister said that all demands of the state government, like extension of industrial package, Special Plan Assistance and strengthening of the rail network will be positively considered in a time-bound manner.


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